MARCH 2, 2012
LD I FA E L EP EA S BRUERNG T T O Y
ParentLife VOL. 1 NO. 1
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MARCH 2, 2012
Girl Scouts Celebrate 100th Anniversary Therese P. Howe For Parent Life
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One hundred years ago, a Savannah socialite named Juliette Gordon Low gathered 18 girls for a meeting that was the genesis of what would become an international organization that counts more than 3.2 million girls and adult members today. Here in Loudoun, about 5,200 girls belong to Association 70 of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, which encompasses Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and parts of Maryland and West Virginia. “We don’t just sell cookies, we don’t just have troop meetings, we do high adventure [activities], we do community service, we build leadership in girls,” Association cochairwoman Harriet Thompson said. “We give them opportunities to do things that they wouldn’t necessarily do on their own and we provide an environment where they feel comfortable and confident to do that.” In celebration of the 100th birthday of the Girl Scouts, Thompson and other association officials have planned more than a year’s worth of events, starting with a singalong last October at Ida Lee Park that brought about 550 girls and adult volunteers together. All of the events have a community service component, from making holiday cards to be delivered by the Meals on Wheels program to collecting food and clothing donations, Thompson said. “The events have been
very well-received. I think people are looking for things that are already planned, ready to go.” The Association has not planned an event, however, for June. Instead, Girl Scouts from around the world have been invited to a national event that is expected to draw hundreds of thousands to the National Mall. On June 9, about 200,000 Girl Scouts are expected for the 100th Anniversary Singalong called Rock the Mall. “We didn’t want to do anything to detract from that,” Thompson said. While many of the activities are open to Girl Scouts only, a project they are working on now will be open to the public in October. “We’re working with Temple Hall Farm; they’re going to...design their corn maze for the year with [the theme] Girl Scouts celebrating 100 years. We have a contest for Girl Scouts in Loudoun to come up with the design. We have to have the design finalized and picked by May 1 because they actually plant the corn in the shape. I thought they went back in and cut it down but they plant it that way. Who knew?” Girl Scouts have until March 16 to submit a design. For more information about the design contest, visit the Association website at http://gscnc-assn70.org or call the Girl Scout Leesburg office at 703-777-5644. Asked how the organization continues to attract members at a time when other activities compete for their attention, Thompson
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Photos courtesy of Harriet Thompson and Diana Kane Top: Loudoun Girl Scout volunteers have scheduled a year’s worth of activities to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the organization, including this singalong at Ida Lee Park in October. Above: A display of memorabilia celebrates 100 years of Girl Scouting; the display was placed in the Purcellville Library earlier this year.
MARCH 2, 2012
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March events Photo courtesy of Diana Kane Girl Scout Leesburg office field director Diana Kane, left, and her daughter, Girl Scout Ambassador Abigail Kane, volunteer at last October’s Girl Scout singalong at Ida Lee Park.
noted that, “There are lots of girl organizations but we are the ones who teach them about leadership and being confident in their ability to do things. We give the opportunity to lead every chance we get. “I tell the parents that they’re going to develop the skills that they need to be on their own, to make good decisions, to have a good set of values. We live by the Girl Scout Law; it doesn’t just apply to Girl Scouts, it applies to our lives on this planet.” Girl Scout Calendar The public is invited to join Association 70’s 100th Anniversary celebration activities at local libraries. For more information call the Leesburg Girl Scout office at 703-777-5644.
March 3, 2 p.m. Purcellville Library: Songs, crafts and cake • March 10, 2 p.m. Middleburg Library: Stories and birthday cake • March 10, 3 p.m. Lovettsville Library: Songs and stories • March 24, 2 p.m. Rust Library: See a play about Girl Scouting’s founder Juliette Gordon Low, browse an informational display, and maybe become a Girl Scout, too! Light refreshments will be provided. In addition, town officials will be issuing proclamations in honor of the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary on March 13 in Purcellville and March 21 in Leesburg.
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MARCH 2, 2012
Girls Going for the Gold Therese P. Howe For Parent Life
The Gold Award is the highest achievement that a Girl Scout can attain, and is equivalent to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle rank. The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital has the highest number of awardees in the country, thanks to the efforts of Girl Scouts throughout the region, including Loudoun. Following are the stories of local Girl Scouts who are working or have completed their Gold Award projects. Abigail Kane, Round Hill Ambassador I began Girl Scouts as a Brownie in first grade. I have been able to do things I would not get to do otherwise. I have been camping at many Girl Scout camps, I have done kayaking and canoeing and I traveled to Savannah, Georgia, where I had the opportunity to wear hoop skirts and learn about the historic city. I have learned leadership and organizational skills. I also enjoy the sisterhood of Girl Scouts and have made many friends. It was exciting last summer when I was able to have some international Girl Scouts stay at my house before they went to be counselors at Potomac Woods. Another part of Girl Scouts that I enjoy
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is my ability to serve my community. My troop has collected a great deal of food for local food pantries. My Gold Award Project was to create a prayer labyrinth that would provide users with a meaningful prayer and meditative experience to help bring them peace, develop spirituality, and draw them closer to God. I chose this project because I had experienced a prayer labyrinth at church camp once and it was really meaningful for me. I wanted other people in the church and surrounding community to be able to experience the same meaningful experience that I had encountered. I completed the project on Oct. 8, 2011. Senior Troop 2002, Leesburg Troop 2002 started 11 years ago and has five high school students, all striving for the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, The Gold Award. Here are these Girl Scouts in their own words. Emily Allis My name is Emily Allis and not only am I a sophomore at Loudoun County High School, but I am a proud member of Troop 2002. I am working with the Loudoun Free Clinic for my Gold Award, setting up an advertising and marketing program to educate the community, hoping to bring in more volunteers and donations. Through newspaper ads, Facebook and other social media, I hope to educate the public about this nonprofit organization right here in our County. I have participated in Girl Scouts all these years for a lot of reasons, but most importantly it is because of the friends I have made being a member of this Troop. We have done so many fun things together and have helped a lot of people along the way. We will be friends forever. Ashlee Bowers My name is Ashlee Bowers, a junior at Loudoun County High School, and I have been a Girl Scout in Troop 2002 for almost 11 years. My Gold Award project is benefiting Good Shepherd Alliance and is called “Dress for Success”. I am hoping to build self-confidence in the young teen women living at this shelter by holding sewing lessons and providing donations of clothing. My goal is to prepare these young women for job interviews and the working world. I chose this project because I wanted to help women become confident in their outward appearance and in themselves. Some of my best memories are the times I have spent in Girl Scouts, and I love being with my Troop members and helping out my community. We have done a lot together and I will never forget any of it.
MARCH 2, 2012
R BEUNRTG LT IOFDEA Y LPE A ES
Loudoun Country Day School
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Photo courtesy of Diana Kane For her Gold Award project, Girl Scout Ambassador Abigail Kane created a prayer labyrinth at New Jerusalem Church in Purcellville. Kolby Howerter My name is Kolby Howerter, a junior at Loudoun County, and I have been a Girl Scout and a member of Troop 2002 since first grade. I am still participating in Girl Scouts because I cherish the relationships I have made with all the girls in my Troop and I cannot imagine what I would do without them. My Gold Award project focuses on making no-sew fleece blankets for long-term pediatric patients at Inova Hospital. I have been to senior citizen homes, elementary schools, and other community organizations over the past months, leading classes on making these blankets for young patients, so they find a little bit of comfort during their hospital stay. I am presently working on the distribution of these blankets with the hospital and setting up a system where these blankets will be provided to extended care patients in the years to come. Emma Kirwan I am Emma Kirwan and I am a junior at Freedom High School in South Riding. When I moved to Aldie Elementary in 4th grade, I knew I could not leave the friends I had in this Troop. So instead of joining another Girl Scout troop at my new school, I stayed with my friends in Troop 2002, and I am so glad I did. Since moving to this part of the County, I have grown attached to the Village of Aldie so I wanted to focus my Gold Award project on something to benefit the town. I have created an educational program at the historic Aldie Mill for 3rd graders and have tied that information into their studies of simple machines. My hope is that this program will continue in the years to come for all 3rd grade students in the County. I have loved
being a Girl Scout all these years, and Emily, Kolby, Ashlee and Zoe will be my friends for the rest of my life. Zoe LaBillois My name is Zoe LaBillois, a junior at Woodgrove, and a Girl Scout for 11 years. My Gold Award Project has been to help Morven Park in Leesburg build a sensory trail for people with disabilities. Since I have been working with horses since I was 8 years old, I wanted to combine that love with my love of the outdoors. I then put this into something that would help the disabled people in our community, young and old. By clearing and working on a sensory walking and equestrian trail at Morven Park, I know I am providing a needed service. So many people throughout the County have been so generous in donating their time, money and effort into building bird houses, moving branches off the trail, and just helping me out while I have worked on this project. I have learned a lot about giving back, not only through this project but during my past years as a Girl Scout. But the best part of Girl Scouts has been about my friends in the Troop and the memories we have shared together. For the past 11 years, through Girl Scout cookies, camping in the pouring rain, trips to museums, caverns and potato chip factories, cleaning up trails, volunteering for community events, building toy chests for local homeless shelters, and basically just being together, these five girls have done something most Girl Scouts don’t do: they have stayed together as Girl Scouts for all these years and have the memories and friendships that Girl Scouts bring, memories that will last a lifetime. That is what Girl Scouts is all about.
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The March 2012 issue of Parent Life